The Auxiliary's Americanism program promotes patriotism and
responsible citizenship and strives to uphold and promote American ideals and
the principles of democracy.
The goal of the Auxiliary's Americanism program is to educate every citizen on the fundamentals of American government, the Bill of Rights and the value of active, informed involvement in the home, in the Auxiliary organization and in the community. Most successful Americanism programs are cooperative efforts between an Auxiliary Unit and its community. Contributions donated to the Spirit of Youth Foundation by individuals, organizations and members' estates, benefit young people through such programs as the Americanism Youth Conference at Freedom's Foundation and the National President's Scholarship program.
The Citizens Flag Alliance is an apolitical, non-partisan confederation of organizations and individuals who wish to protect the United States flag from acts of physical desecration. The Citizens Flag Alliance's goal is to pass a Constitutional amendment prohibiting flag desecration. The American Legion Auxiliary joined this effort in 1994 due to its belief that the flag is unique, deserving proper respect, care and protection.
The Americanism work of the Auxiliary includes all activities tending to perpetuate American ideals and to uphold the principles of American democracy. The security of America lies in a citizenry in whose minds and hearts is ingrained a true understanding of and love for those ideals and principles upon which the nation was founded; a citizenry awake to the duties of citizenship and willing to perform these duties even at the cost of great personal sacrifice. Americanism work is largely educational in character and is usually divided into three phases: work with youth, work with adults, and work in the community. All matters pertaining to the flag or patriotic education are rightly classified as Americanism activities.
Every citizen should have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Constitution of the United States. Therefore, the Auxiliary has a very definite objective in emphasizing through its Americanism program the teachings of good citizenship.
Auxiliary education programs focus on active Americanism in the home; active Americanism in the Unit; active Americanism in youth groups; active Americanism in adult groups; and active Americanism in our community.
At home, we strive to revitalize our personal patriotism because everyone should be able to answer the question "What kind of an American am I?" We also encourage everyone to take an interest in our country's affairs; express our belief in our love for America in our words and deeds; inspire children and young people in our homes and schools to develop fine characters, high ideals and a sincere appreciation of our heritage; be tolerant in thought and deeds towards others; and to vote intelligently after careful study of candidates and issues.
Each Auxiliary Unit has an active Americanism chairman. Unit members sponsor study classes for the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, flag etiquette, and great American characters; plan periodic patriotic conferences; observe patriotic holidays; display the flag, keep it clean, and fold it properly; and distribute flag etiquette brochures.
Auxiliary Units present Americanism awards in schools; sponsor debate and essay contests; present flags to schools; encourage the formation of student councils in elementary schools; present records and/or tapes of the Star-Spangled to Banner to schools and sponsor Boy and Girl Scout Units.
Auxiliary units sponsor adult citizenship classes and present flag codes, American Creed, and small American flags to new citizens; hold Americanism meetings and community forums; and place flag study courses in night schools for the foreign-born.
In the community, Auxiliary units plan town meetings and other study groups, presenting both sides of a question; help with community observance of patriotic holidays; present fags where needed; use both printed and electronic media when presenting Americanism programs; watch for subversive group activities and report to proper authorities; visit local government groups in action and show interest in school boards, City Councils, County Boards, and Town Meetings; and plant trees as memorials and study conservation programs.
The Americanism program of The American Legion embraces a multiplicity of activities. It necessitates real, honest, unselfish effort on the part of all members of The American Legion family including Auxiliary Units. The members of the Auxiliary can effectively make patriotism a personal matter and they can select and successfully carry out projects adaptable to the needs of their communities.
This fund was established by the American Legion Auxiliary to support programs for young people. Tax deductible contributions from individuals, organizations and estates are the basis of this permanent endowment fund for youth. The funds are expended for programs that benefit the youth of our nation and to enrich those programs which already exist. Two such programs are the Americanism Youth Conference conducted each spring for the Auxiliary by Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and the four year "Spirit of Youth Scholarship" for Junior Members.